Sunday 27 February 2022

A Fantastic Film For Kids Of All Ages!

 Saturday afternoon was really relaxing and we settled down watching Mr Fantastic Fox on Netflix.  Have you seen it?

It's based on Roald Dahl's book and we thought it to be amazing.   The animations are incredible with famous actors and actresses doing the voices.

The animal characters have American voices and the farmers have English ones.

Apparently when the film was released parents didn't take their children to watch it at the cinema because it had adult themes like alcohol abuse and violence...?

Mr Fox writes a column in a local newspaper and his wife is adorable and I fell instantly head over foxtail in love with her.  Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix began to play in my mental jukebox.

Fantastic Mr  Fox is a Canine James Bond.  Without spoiling it for you he decides to give into his nocturnal hunting instincts and goes hunting in the farmers sheds. He's one fox you can't out fox!

I think Roald Dahl gives the reader/viewer an understanding that the beautiful sensient creatures are wild and want to be free.  It gave me an idea for another blog post in a couple of days time.

The book end with the words"And so far as I know, they are still waiting".

Saturday 26 February 2022

A Pleasant Surprise At The Polytunnel.

Fixed Polytunnel.

 I got home one night last week from work and I was informed that my good lady wife had managed to do a Macgyver fix on 'Portugal' my beloved polytunnel cover.  Click on the photo to see the incredible fix!

Apparently she got some polytunnel tape that we bought in Aldi and a couple of strong  polythene bags we use for the recycling still joined together and managed to patch the tear in the cover.

Oh am I an happy bunny.  We have had some incredible more strong winds the last few days and it's still intact,  thankfully! "

Oh happy days when my polytunnel blues went away."

My carrots have germinated and the onions are growing and I repotted my friend the Yucca plant.  The polytunnel plant residents are very happy again and so am I. 

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

If Chris De Burgh Had Been Born In Barnsley.

I recently discovered a comedy band from Barnsley.  They are called The Bar-Steward Sons Of Val Doonican.  They seem a great bunch of lads and they are on at a festival I may well be going to in Blighty in August.

Who would think that I would still be going to musical festivals when I am sixty next year? There is life in the old dog yet.

Any road or anyway.  The BSOVD  have done their own version of Chris's The Lady In Red.  

I have seen Mr De Burgh in concert in Killarney and he's very good until he starts singing Lady Diana's favourite song and starts dancing with the lasses in the posh seats near the stage.  The women love it and so does he.  

Here's The Lady In Gregg's for your perusal and enjoyment!

Monday 21 February 2022

My New Vacuum Cleaner Collection.

What do you call a collector of vacuum cleaners?  Yours truly, me, myself and I.

We cleared out a big big shed over the weekend and these vacuum cleaners ended up getting a new home at Northsider Towers.

You never see door to door vacuum cleaner salesmen anymore, thankfully. 

Only I could end up with five more vacuum cleaners.  What's wrong with a Ewbank or an 'house' brush? They are organic, don't use electricity and don't make a noise and they don't  bang into skirting boards when you're nursing an hangover on a Saturday morning like they use to do when my dear old dad would "Hoover" the house to punish me for coming in late and sleeping in the bath.  Happy days!

According to Professor Google a Chicago inventor, Ives Mcgaffey patented a sweeping machine in 1869 and called the first hand pumped vacuum cleaner the "Whirlwind" and it was made of wood and canvas.  I thought "the Whirlwind" was Jimmy White the Snooker player.

 In Greek mythology there is a bloke called Sisyphus who is condemned to carry big rocks up hills for all eternity.  I reckon I will be made to carry an Hoover or a Henry, Goblin or a Vàx all around Paradise.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Spring Time In The Polytunnel Perhaps?

 The Radishes decided to put in an appearance this week and the onion sets in modules have started to grow stalks in the polytunnel.  I grow them in compost instead of planting them directly in the cold and wet soil.  In a few weeks they will have lovely root socks perfect for growing in the homemade compost in the plastic fish boxes.  

It looks like the weeds thing it is Spring too.

How did I manage to take a picture of my daisy roots or hiking boots?

It's amazing the difference a covering of plastic makes.  Have you got anything starting to grow on your veg plot or allotment yet?

This picture was taken before Storm Eunice paid a visit and tore a big hole in "Portugal" my beloved polytunnel friend.  Saying that I managed for years with no polytunnel!  

I took that photo last Sunday.  To misquote Harold Wilson: "A week is a long time in a polytunnel".

Storm Franklin looks like its putting in an appearance now.  To misquote Rhett Butler:

"Franklin my dear storm.  I don't give a damn!"

I do really.  I hate the wind and the rain.

Friday 18 February 2022

Time To Do A MacGyver On My Polytunnel.

 Storm Eunice decided to rip the plastic on my polytunnel last night.  Drat and swear words like "flipping heck" and  "for flips sake."

I suppose I have had my money's worth.  It was back in 2013 when I bought it for 500 Euros a man with a Dublin accident I mean accent delivered it (unassembled obviously) and kept saying: 

 " The instruction are on the web". "If you're not sure.  It's  on the web."

So if it's stops raining and the wind dissipates or disappears.  I will get out the old polytunnel repair tape I bought in Aldi and supervise the missus whilst she attempts to do a MacGyver repair job on "Portugal" by beloved polytunnel pal.  

I watched enough episodes of Blue Peter when they showed you how to make your own nuclear power station out of two Ski yoghurt tubs and some sticky back plastic or " Cellotape".   I'm a bit of a tight wad and if I could get a bit longer out of the old plastic polytunnel cover.

Any one know how much a new cover for a three hooped polytunnel is? It's  only had one cover and that was when I sang "I Just Can't Help Believing" by Elvis Presley to my plants.

"Elvis has left the polytunnel." 

Wednesday 16 February 2022

A Witty Remark On A Rough Sea Journey Across The Bay.

 We caught the ferry to the island and it was the roughest crossing I have been on so far.

The ferry started rocking from side to side and waves were smashing against the boat.  I was finding it hard to concentrate and read a new book on the kindle app on my mobile phone.  I was even thinking of using my shopping bag containing my waterproofs for a sick bag in the event of an emergency and me being sick of course.

The boat started to jump in and out of the water and a mighty  wave crash sound hit the bottom of the boat.  I can't say I was enjoying my free cruise across the bay. Then I heard another wave crash and one wit piped up:

"Why don't they get the council to fill the potholes in?"

We all laughed and forgot about our nervy sea voyage for a moment.

A certain sea shanty tune began to play in my mental jukebox.  Remember this:

Tuesday 15 February 2022

A Briny Walk Next To The Sea.

 I have just finished reading the Salt Path on Kindle.  It's a walking book with great views, pathos and addresses major issues like homelessness.  

It certainly touched a few nerves with me and It's very well written and I have been to Durdle Door in Dorset on the South West Coast Walk.

The author's partner keeps getting mistook for a very famous poet from Yorkshire.  They wild camp and live very poorly and their encounters with the homeless in Plymouth was disturbing.  If you like walking like me.  It's well worth reading.

The one thing what really resonated with me was their freedom to get up and go where they wanted every day.  It was like being a bird.  A free bird at that:

Its ten minutes long and like the book I really enjoyed it!


Sunday 13 February 2022

Another Visit To The Limerick Greenway from Templegantine To Abbeyfeale.

We went back to the magnificent newly purposed Limerick  Greenway on Saturday.  I had chosen a five mile or nine Kilometers route from Templeglantine to Abbeyfeale.

It had been a horrendous night of heavy rain in our province of Munster and I found a  Army and Navy type stores in county Limerick.  The proprietor was really amiable and he told us how he's having to source his supplies in Europe due to Brexit.   I purchased some waterproofs and the wife dropped me off at the Greenway sign near Templeglantine.

It's  not far from the Devon Arms Hotel where we once stayed for a night when the children were very young and they laid a red carpet outside from the hotel to the brides wedding car.  She walked like a model on a catwalk.

Please click on the photos to enlarge them:


I walked past walkers, dogs, cyclists and runners.  About twenty in total.  About seventeen spoke and three didn't.   It's  cost ten million Euros to repurpose the old railway line to a Greenway.  The wife went shopping and I phoned her to pick me up at Abbeyfeale train station car park.  I walked over six miles in total and it took me an hour and fifty minutes.  I stopped several times to talk to a Pheasant and take all the photos.  It was a good walk.

I can see tremendous tourist potential and it should attract visitors from near and far.  I hope the local landowners open campsites and b and b and glamping and there are hotels in the nearest towns.   If you're in county Kerry why not pop over the border into neighbouring Lìmerick and walk or cycle or run the Greenway.

It would be good to see a refreshment van/cafe "Dave's Dogs" burger van or even a few cans of cold beer or minerals for sale.

There's an old Lancashire saying: " Spoiling the job for an happence of tar." You can't say that about the new Limerick Greenway.  It's a magnificent job and a jewel in Limerick's walking crown!  Well done!

Saturday 12 February 2022

A Profusion Of Red Roses In A Shelley Drip Lustre Vase From Around 1935.

That's a bunch of cheap Rose's I bought the wife for our 27th wedding anniversary yesterday or Friday even.

The vase we picked up on our Womble travels several years ago.

I decided to flash the cash and get out some hard earned beer token vouchers and went in a German garden centre and beer providers and food suppliers and I bought the Rose's for 3 Euros ninety nine.  I know but she's worth it!

Come on lads treat the missus to a nice bunch of Rose's for Valentine's and she might treat you.  I haven't had egg, beans and chips for yonks!😊

Friday 11 February 2022

The "Good" Drinks A Pint Of The Black Stuff!

 Another great mural we spotted in Tralee when I called on my favourite off licence in Ireland for my supply of Newcy Brown and Doom Bar bitter.

I know those Spaghetti Westerns were filmed in Spain.  But I think they would have liked the Guinness if they made the films in Ireland. 

Been quiet on the old blog horse this week.  Will catch up with my blog friends over the weekend.

Sunday 6 February 2022

Bergenias In Flower.

 It's that time of year when the Bergenias flowers come out to play.  I have lots of them in pots that I have propagated over the years.

They originate from Russia, China and the Himalayas.  Their common name is 'Elephants Ears'.  Americans call them 'Pig Squeak'  because their leaves make a squeak noise when you rub their leathery leaves.

Named after German Botanist called Karl August von Bergen.  They are an old fashioned garden favourite and I love them.

English Plantswoman Gertrude Jekyll use to use them to define rows of herbaceous perennials borders.  

Their leaves change colours through the winter months and give hints of brown and purple and then along come their flowers.  They are a tonic for any gardener waiting for their Sleeping Beauty of a garden to wake up in Spring.

It's wild and windy here today in the countryside next to the sea.  But the Bergenias don't mind!

Saturday 5 February 2022

Inside The Polytunnel In February.

J bought some onion sets and seeds from the German garden centre and beer providers the other day.  

We only water the over wintering perennials once a week at the moment.

Fortunately I still had two bags of cheap compost left over from last year because it's difficult to source compost at this time of year.

So I filled some large plant pots with compost and J sowed onions, carrots and radishes with parsnips.  Parsnips can take up to twenty eight days to germinate and the radish germinate within 6 or 7 days and make good markers to show you where the parsnips seeds are.

The radishes have put in an appearance already and it's great that things are starting to happen so earlier in the year.

Living in such a wet and inclement climate like Ireland I think a polytunnel is imperative for the year round gardener and you can potter about when it's blowing a gale or the Atlantic wants to cover you with rain.

Using large plant pots means that anyone can grow vegetables without necessary having a garden or allotment.  We once lived in an upstairs flat and I grew new potatoes in a large plant pot.

Have you started sowing or planting and growing your vegetables yet?

Wednesday 2 February 2022

This Is The Life.

 Sometimes you watch a video on You Tube and it absolutely blows you away.  Rather like when I was a teenager and I listened to a song on the radio and I rushed to the record shop  and just had to buy that single and I would rush home and play it over again and my mum would shout up the stairs:

"Turn it down it's  like a bloody fairground".

Anyway give this video a whirl please and see if it makes you feel young again? It genuinely moves me and makes me think of young people being homeless and the crowd makes me think of Iggy Pop's  ' Lust  For Life".  Perhaps it's because it's a Scottish singer and a Scottish audience and wasn't Iggy's track in Trainspotting?

I would love to see Amy live at a festival.  It was 2019 when I last went to a Rock festival.  When was the last time you went to a gig?

A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...